Peanut butter really isn't a good idea (oxidized 0-6 and aflatoxin) and alternative butters can be quite pricey (I've seen raw/organic almond butter going for upwards of $20 at Whole Foods) but quality almond butter, sun butter, cashew butter, etc is generally only a few dollars more a jar than most natural peanut butters.
Since nut butters in general should be consumed with discretion (as all nuts have a high level of phytates) the higher price for a less harmful product encourages limited consumption.
By paying more, you essentially benefit twice. You eat less AND you get a better product.
Buy nuts or seeds in bulk and make your own nutbutters at a fraction of the cost...you can even make coconut butter almost as good as Artisana's just by tossing dehyrated coconut in your food processor. Usually, when I find myself craving something I know I shouldn't eat, it just means I'm in a food rut and need to diversify a bit. But don’t beat yourself up over the peanut butter...notice how it felt in your body, and maybe you'll decide it's fine from time to time...guilt free, or not at all!
I buy Blue Diamond almond butter. It is fairly inexpensive and it is locally grown/produced. When I am out of it and want some nut butter, I eat peanut butter. (My housemate is non-Paleo and we share food costs.) Happens once in a while. I don't worry about it.
I wouldn't buy any nut butters from the store. Nuts need to be properly prepared before consuming and most definitely store bought nuts are not.
Secondly, peanuts are not nuts but rather legumes. Legumes are notoriously difficult to prepare properly. They need to be fermented in order to be suitable for eating.
That said, it is pretty cheap to buy your own peanuts, soak and ferment them, roast and then make your own nut butter. At that point they are no longer a guilty treat but a very nice food from time to time.
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